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January 9, 2013

Louis Oosthuizen


PAUL SYMES:  What have you been up to since Alfred Dunhill last year?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  What have I been up to?  Not much.  Been on the farm, playing golf with friends and just relaxing really.  Rough end of the year schedule but I think most of the players‑‑ yeah, I think from now, once we start with the first tournament will be ready.
PAUL SYMES:  Switch the competitive light on.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I think once tomorrow starts, it will be.  Felt very relaxed but I think once we tee off tomorrow, we'll be going for it.
PAUL SYMES:  You're one of the highest‑rank players in the field; do you feel like the man to beat this week?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Not really.  I'm just going to go out and play, and like I say, just haven't really played much golf.  So I think there will be a few loose shots and a few rusty shots out there.  But you know, luckily it's a golf course where I'm familiar.
PAUL SYMES:  You mentioned the farm earlier, some interesting hole‑in‑one prizes this week.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, there's a few really nice prizes.
THE MODERATOR:  Which one would you prefer?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I think the one on the 15th, the Excavator.  (Laughter).

Q.  (What will your schedule be this year, will you play more in Europe or the U.S. tour)?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, I'm doing both tours again.  You know, mostly I will play in America, but towards the end of the season, I'll be more in Europe.

Q.  How do you look back on the season?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I mean, 2010 has probably been a highlight season for me, winning The Open.  Then it was disappointing with a few injuries, and last year was for me probably been a season where everything sort of same together, almost getting a second major and coming very close to a few tournaments.  But also getting two victories.
You know, it's been a good season for me.  I played really well and I moved up in the World Rankings, which is a big goal of mine, and I'm just going to try and build on that from last year.

Q.  What do you think of the changes the R&A have made to the Old Course?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I didn't even know about changes.  I don't know‑‑ if you tell me what they are doing‑‑

Q.  A few changes, they are trying to flatten‑‑ you played when it was really windy and there was concern about pin positions‑‑
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Well, I think they always try and stay with the game, the R&A, and you know, the changes to the Old Course, I don't think they will be severe changes.  It will be probably be just a few, moving a tee back, which is fine, and I don't think it will be anything too severe.
The Old Course always has tough holes and it's probably still going to be the same.

Q.  As someone who is relatively new to Open Championship golf, the chance to play the courses in their original design‑‑
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  I think, so but the strange part of it with the game, if you just look at how much further everyone is hitting the ball these days, they need to change to just stay with it.  But I was anxious to see what St. Andrews like when I first played it, and I think it's changed probably so much from them.  So it's always nice to see what the original layout would have been like.

Q.  After the Masters, you went the next week to the Malaysian Open.  How important was that victory for the rest of the season; that you did so well after that?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  Yeah, that helped a lot.  It didn't take away the pain of losing in a playoff, but it did help a lot to just get on with it and get to the next tournament.
I think it was a good thing for me to go play immediately after and not take a month off.  I was playing very well at that stage, and so yeah, that meant a lot to do all that traveling and then still go out and win a tournament.  That took a lot out of it‑‑ took a lot of positive out of it, and just carried on from there.
But you know, obviously I was still disappointed not to win the green jacket.

Q.  (Regarding a South African winning this week and thoughts on Retief returning).
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN:  It's great seeing Retief back from injuries and surgery and stuff and having him in the field again.  He's out there, and J.B. and Gracey; I think it's going to be‑‑ hopefully it's going to be a South African that lifts the trophy at the end of the week.
I think everyone is expecting probably that there will be low scoring, but you know, just need to go out tomorrow and see what the scores are going to be like.  I think you can expect probably low numbers out there.
PAUL SYMES:  Thank you, have a great week.

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